Report: Tunneling beneath straits “feasible” alternative to Line 5

Jun 15, 2018

Enbridge Energy has submitted a report to the state on possible alternatives to continuing to run an oil and gas pipeline on the bottomlands of the Straits of Mackinac.

       Neither of the alternatives would shut down the line.

Shutting down the line is what environmental groups are calling for. Enbridge has proposed digging a tunnel 100 feet below the bottom of the straits, or encasing Line 5 in a trench covered with concrete and stone.

       Governor Rick Snyder has said he thinks a tunnel might be a good idea. His communications director, Ari Adler, says that could also be used to protect other infrastructure resting beneath the straits.

“There are a number of utility lines in the Straits of Mackinac, and they are all susceptible to anchor strikes, for example.”

       That happened in April. At least three more studies are expected before state officials make a decision on the future of Line 5, possibly in the fall.